kolbert elizabeth the sixth extinction an unnatural history new york picador 2014 dokie

Kolbert, Elizabeth. The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History. New York: Picador, 2014

In the chapters we read for today, Kolbert further discusses the impact of humans on various species, and how it differs from non-human impact. We’re now in a human-focused time, she writes, and geologists and other scientists want to recognize that officially. Why is Paul Crutzen insistent that our current epoch is the Anthropocene and no longer the Holocene? Use at least three examples from the reading in your discussion.

Additionally, we read about the underwater volcanic vents near Ischia and how they release carbon dioxide into the nearby sea, making it more acidic. This is a naturally occurring phenomenon, but Kolbert reminds us of all the carbon dioxide humans release into the atmosphere, which also affects the oceans on a much wider scale. Is there a way for us to slow the acidification of the oceans, or are we too close to the tipping point? Finally, we may be living in the Anthropocene, but do you think humans have a place in the natural balance? Or is the balance completely thrown off? Again, are we overstepping our bounds with our impact on the planet?

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